The Grid Brushes on its International Facade
WORCESTER — Nothing better unveils the amazing exterior streetscape interactions The Grid has planned for its residents and the public than the recent Action! Worcester POW! WOW! With murals curated and painted by different artists from around the globe Aug. 24 through Sept. 6, 12 walls across the city became a hotbed of incredible works of art in a matter of days.
For The Grid District – a massive downtown 6-acre mixed-use development by MG2 – the artists transformed old brick facades into visual gold. MG2 welcomed and hosted the artists’ canvasses in newly renovated apartments.
In all, POW! WOW! welcomed in artists from eight different countries. Action! Worcester managed all operations of local efforts from preparation through execution, including marketing, sponsorship and community collaboration.
“The Grid demonstrated a strong commitment to the POW! WOW! Worcester from the very beginning,” says Kyla Pacheco, director of operations at Action! Worcester. “Their generous donation of walls for murals and first class accommodations located directly in the festival footprint made artist stays convenient and enjoyable. We were delighted to work with their responsive and friendly staff, and look forward to future project collaborations.”
Artist Jason Eatherly of Texas – best known for his Queen Eli image – painted a horizontal city of Austin-inspired rusty old blue Model A Ford truck on The Bancroft back of the Becker on the Grid building set against the backdrop of a rustic auto body garage. He also received a key to the city for his efforts from Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty.
In a tall, vertical montage set against the backside of the Portland on the Grid, artist and Connecticut native Greg Mike of Georgia created a surreal Tom & Jerry canvass in an interesting juxtaposition set in front of realistic lion and owl imagery while promoting the message of happiness. Mike is best known for his works populated by gleefully twisted characters, with a world that is unsettling, mischievous and uniquely captivating.
In tribute to Worcester Smiley Face inventor Harvey Ball, artist Fanakapan of London painted a simple but elegant street-level smiley balloon floating in mid-air on the side of Portland Street Lofts. Fanakapan is well known for his realistic balloon animals and letters.
Completing the set of four murals was artist Imagine of Nepal, who founded the Nepal Children’s Art Museum. Writing in her native language, Nepali, she stylized Nepali letters and merged them with a calligraphy style.
“My mural I painted for POW WOW Worcester has the phrase ‘You can imagine, too’ in repeating like a mantra. It’s a mantra of hope,” she said via email from Nepal. “The color scheme and shapes in my work reflect the frozen moment when you light a match in the dark.”
All of the murals will remain in place across the city this year, setting the stage for a perfect fall day trip or overnight destination.
Mural locations and images can be found here.